Sources at the Manchester cancer hospital explained that the honey is believed to have healing powers and the doctors at Christie Hospital in Didsbury, Manchester, are planning to use it on mouth and throat cancer patients as a clinical trail basis. They hope to try and reduce the patient's chances of contracting MRSA and to also reduce their inflammation. They have been using these special honey-coated dressings, at the infirmary since May.
The study being conducted at the hospital on 60 patients is to see if the honey can prevent infections that are resistant towards antibiotics, like MRSA. It was explained that MRSA (Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus), which is popularly known as 'Super bug' is a strain of golden staphylococcus that was discovered in Britain in 1961, which has now developed antibiotic resistance, initially to penicillin since 1947, and then to methicillin and slowly to other related anti-staphylococcal drugs and has now become very widespread.
History has shown that honey has been used for its medicinal qualities from the time of ancient Egyptians, who had regarded it as a cure for all. Dr Nick Slevin, the specialist leading the programme, said, 'Manuka honey has special anti-inflammatory and anti-infection properties and is believed to reduce the likelihood of MRSA infection. This study has been generously funded by local people and patients - and we are extremely grateful to them.'
Bees that mainly feed on the Manuka bush produce this honey. It was reported that this honey was expensive, costing about £12 for a jar, and that the hospital authorities were buying it in bulk to help keep the costs down. The hospital has so far purchased 400kgs of the honey for their clinical trails.